For most children, when their ball lands next door a friendly neighbour tosses it back. Not so for Patrick Kennedy because his neighbours were the 1200 inmates of Long Bay prison. He grew up just metres from the main wall of the toughest prison ever built in Australia. 

Patrick Kennedy has been 'inside' Long Bay many times. Happily he has always been allowed back out. Patrick's parents were both nurses at Long Bay, during different eras, from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Patrick's first visit inside Australia's hardest gaol was when he was just 12 when his dad took him inside to see where he worked. His mother later worked in the Operating Theatre and clinics.  One of his sisters also worked there for a short time. 

Patrick was called, as one of Australia's first Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedics, to Long Bay in the 1970s when prison officer John Mewburn was struck nine times on the head with a hammer by deranged inmate Peter Schneidas. Patrick also treated Russell Cox, the only man to escape Katingal, when he was shot in an earlier breakout attempt in 1975. During the last four years Patrick has been given direct access to most parts of Long Bay under strict supervision. 

Patrick has written three other books including - From Bottle Forest to Heathcote – the Sutherland Shire’s first settlement, From Long Bay to Malabar - a Village by the Sea and You Must See Some Terrible Things – his account of his time as an Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedic.His book Long Bay will be published in February 2018.

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